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Supporting Communities Affected by Gang Violence in Haiti: Esther’s Story


June 21, 2024 • 2 min read

Carrefour, located on the outskirts of Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, is one of the country's most densely populated and economically challenged neighbourhoods. This commune is characterised by severe poverty, inadequate access to clean water, unreliable electricity, and poor-quality medical facilities. High crime rates and limited access to education further exacerbate existing vulnerabilities.

Families in Haiti Going Hungry

GOAL is supporting communities affected by gang violence and high inflation in Haiti. With funding from the U.S. Bureau of Humanitarian Assistance (BHA), GOAL, AVSI, and CESVI are implementing programmes to improve food security, enhance access to WASH services, stimulate economic recovery, and protect vulnerable households.

Esther is a 32-year-old mother living in Carrefour with her husband, elderly mother, and four children. The family receives food security assistance from GOAL, funded by BHA. Prior to this intervention, Esther’s family sometimes went entire days without anything to eat. Being unable to feed her loved ones was extremely distressing for Esther.

Restoring Hope and Dignity

When asked about the day that GOAL first began distributing food security vouchers to households in Carrefour, Esther described it as a “blessed day” – a “day of rebirth.” Using the coupons, Esther was able to purchase enough food to fill her entire pantry. “This programme has been a lifeline for my family,” she says. “We regained dignity, food security and hope. It was like a miracle in our lives.”

A GOALie visiting Esther in her home in Carrefoure, one of Port-Au-Prince’s most economically disadvantaged neighbourhoods.

Supporting Communities Affected by Gang Violence

Thanks to funding from BHA, GOAL, AVSI, and CESVI are supporting communities affected by gang violence with food vouchers, psychosocial support, and improved WASH services. Our teams reached 3,500 residents of Carrefour with critical food assistance by March 2024, totalling 5,200 vulnerable households receiving food assistance in the Metropolitan Area of Port-au-Prince. An additional 2,960 people received psychosocial support, while thousands of individuals benefited from access to improved water, sanitation, and hygiene facilities.

“This project is a beacon of hope for thousands of families,” Esther says. “It changes lives, it helps us to survive. I hope with all my heart that it continues to grow.”

Esther aspires to a future where every member of her community and country can live in more dignified conditions. “Without this project, people like us would be lost, our community would suffer more, and our homes would remain filled with suffering. We need this support for a better future.”

You can support GOAL’s work in Haiti with a donation today.

A GOALie in Esther’s home in Carrefoure, where he is assessing her household’s needs.